Running Slump

I’ve felt this way once before. Last year, right after my grandmother died, I hit a little running slump.  I was tired, my motivation was low, and when I was running, I felt slow and consumed by anxious thoughts, which really took away from my running.

This time, I think the reasoning for the slump is a little different, but the symptoms are largely the same.

In the span of two months, I got a new job, got married to my love, and we bought a house.  And none of it was planned to all hit at once.

With the job, I got a call in May, interviewed throughout the month of June, and was offered the position in early July.  The wedding had been set for August 23rd for some time, and the home came available, and honestly, the inventory is so low in Raleigh that it would have been silly to have forgone that home.

So we dove in headfirst.  And I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy in my entire life.

And like I do anytime I’m faced with any major life changes, I felt this exhaustion come over me.  It hasn’t affected my work, as I’m still in that phase where I’m killing myself to impress everyone, but it’s definitely affected my running and my motivation.  Rather than constantly being raring to go for those runs, I’ve had to pull out every trick in the book to make sure that I make my workouts.  I invite friends, I try new workouts, I make sure that I am scheduled to take one of my instructors classes, all in the hopes that I don’t fall behind on my workouts.  But motivating myself to go when ALL I want to to is lay around in the bed and watch reruns of Sex & the City is hard, and I’m really trying.

Honestly, the last time I felt like I was in this slump a year ago, I pushed through it, but had a few tricks to help get me through.

  • I went to a lot of hot yoga.  Granted, one of the times I went, a pose we got into tapped right into my emotional side and I finished out the class sobbing for whatever reason, but I sure felt good after.
  • I ran.  And I revamped my runs.  I listened to Motown the Musical, Les Mis, and sometimes, nothing at all, all different from my usual playlists.
  • I read Dean Karnazes books.  Which is really good cause he’s an ultra marathoner.  So it kind of made you feel like your little 26.2 wasn’t that bad.
  • I vomited my way through the Greensboro Marathon.  But the fact I finished convinced me I was a lot stronger than I thought I was, and rekindled my love for running.

So the slump sucks.  I don’t like the way it makes me feel, and it scares me – makes me feel like I will never love to run again.  But slowly and steadily, I will be back to exactly where I was before, maybe even better!

What do you do when you’re in a running slump?

Fitness Gods.

The best thing happened to me yesterday morning.

Let me back it up.

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So I’ve been teaching Zumba® Fitness for almost 5 years – taking for longer than that.  And the entire time I was taking, and the entire time that I was training, I had a total fitness crush on my trainer/original teacher Koh Herlong, and then Tanya Beardsley, with whom I had the pleasure of taking a master class before she retired from the company to do her own thing.  I loved the way they taught, I found myself tearing up when they made a connection to their classes, and I’ve always strove (striven?!) to bring the same to my classes.  I love to teach, and I hope that comes through to my classes.

Yesterday, I was working in my office on the schedule when the kid from the fitness desk downstairs called.

“Yeah, there’s no one here to teach the 4:30 step class.”

Shit.

By the grace of God, I’d already planned to take a cycle class, and was already in workout gear.  I literally jogged downstairs, strapped the mic on, broke the news to the class that I would not be teaching Step, but a Cardio Dance class, and went for it.

“Whew, it’s over,” I thought 45 minutes later!

“The teacher that teacher this class always teaches the toning class after.  You’re teaching toning, right?”

Of COURSE!  I found a CD that was like 140 BPMs (a little fitness inside thing) with Miley Cyrus featured, and I WENT FOR IT.  I stepped out of my little Zumba box, dusted off my AFAA certification, and played my role of Fitness Director perfectly.  I had an awesome, awesome time, and after, a few of the chicks in class walked up after, and told me how awesome the toning class was, and how I’d kicked their butt! (Thank you Body Pump™ training!)

Which brings me to this.

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Body PumpI’m still working through some of my team teaching for Body Pump, and was super nervous to teach with this beautiful goddess, Monica, who introduced me to Body Pump.  She’s a flawless instructor, and radiates a really unique sort of beauty and professionalism in her classes.

This morning, she allowed me to team teach with her, and following the class, she gave me a hug, complimented my connection with the students, and said that I was ready to teach.

I have died and gone to heaven!

Do you have any fitness crushes?  Spill!

 

Weekend recap.

I feel like every weekend is really nuts for me at this point, what with us being like a month out from our wedding.  Last week, this fear that no one would show up to our wedding overcame me, which one of my bridesmaids informed me was a normal fear.  But now, all these last minute things are starting to come up and I’m just hoping that we can get it together.  Whew.

So over the weekend, one of my bridesmaids, Ashley, came to spend some time with me.  I think it was good, I needed some friend time, and she needed a break from her insane commute in Northern Virginia, so it all worked out amazingly.

So Ashley came in on Friday evening, and was able to stop by my job to see my new office, which I was really really excited to show her.  One really cool thing about the weekend is that Ashley is going vegan, so instead of doing our usual where we eat everything in sight when she comes, we spent a lot of time snacking at the Whole Foods.

So anyhoo, that first night, we met up with Matthew, my former boss, and noshed on some salads and drinks.  That night, we ended up at the Borough, and met new friends.  I also saw a nose job nose in real life, and it was really scary.

Saturday, I ended up going to work for a little while, and teaching a Zumba® Fitness class where, because of the coffee I’d had earlier that morning, I sweated more than I think I’ve sweated teaching a class all summer.  After a nap, I took Ashley the new vegan to the Remedy Diner, a diner downtown that incorporates a ton of vegan and vegetarian stuff in their menu.  I can’t even tell you what I ate, but I know it was dang good – I’m trying to make it a point to try everything on the menu before we leave Raleigh at some point.

After delicious vegan things, we met up with friends for drinks, and proceeded to run around downtown like we were 22 again – we danced, I saw a bride leaving her wedding reception and I wished her well, and I didn’t go to bed until 3am.

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I think sometimes when you’re  grownup, you forget to stop and act like a crazy college student and actually have FUN on the weekends, so this weekend was a nice reminder to do that once in a while.

What did you do this weekend?

Today.

Last night was great.  For the first time in weeks, and weeks, and weeks, because I woke up early and went to body pump, I really had nothing to do after I got off of work, especially seeing as how I worked on a good chunk of wedding projects on Thursday night.

So immediately after work, I laid down with the foster baby (beagle) and took a nap.

Then, me and Austin hung out and watched this creepy creepy Netflix documentary on Jeffery Dahmer, which is pretty funny (not ha ha funny, but “omg this is crazy funny), because I read Jeffery Dahmer’s article on Wikipedia the other day.  Don’t ask why, I love Wikipedia articles, they’re really a fun pastime.  Not Jefferey Dahmer’s per se, but sometimes the articles I read are fun.

So today, I get to do something really fun.

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 8.39.22 PMEvery year, Elon hosts a dance marathon called Elonthon that benefits the Duke Children’s Hospital, and every year for the past few years, I have gotten a chance to teach a short Zumba class to sleep deprived students at Elon, and every year, it’s been really fun.  I’m honored to be able to do it again this year, and hope to snap a few pics of the sweaty, beautiful faces of my Elon folks.

What are you doing on this beautiful Saturday? 

 

5 most memorable moments in life. (Part I)

Firstly, I’m having a blast of a time with the new camera that my future mother-in-law got me.  Seriously, I don’t think that you will be hearing any horror stories from me, she’s awesome.  I made sure to play with some filters, and took photos of brunch on Sunday morning with a friend.

DSC_0141 DSC_0142The place was Coquette in North Hills, and in addition to some delicious french toast, they had bottomless mimosas for like $10.  I’m not mad at it, plus I got to hang out with a friend who I’d not seen in a while 🙂  that is the literal best.

Anyhoo.  

I totally stole this idea from Sara at Loving on the Run, but it got me thinking – what are the 5 most memorable moments in my life (thus far)?  This one is tough, but I’ll do the best to get a few of the biggies together.

1.  This is really dorky, but my senior prom was pretty awesome.  I was a big reader in high school and in middle school, and I’d always read about proms and stuff, so I really built the magic up in my mind.  Senior prom was sick awesome, and I think that was one of the most fun nights that I ever had in high school  (and I’m 26 now).  I honestly just remember that I didn’t stop dancing the entire time.

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I’ll leave that right there….

2.  My entire experience at Elon University.  I’ve talked nonstop about how much I fell in love at Elon, but I really learned so much there.  I had incredible classes, incredible teachers, and incredible experiences there.  Incredible incredible incredible.

3.  Years and years ago, I dated someone, who, when I told him about my plan to become licensed in Zumba and teach classes, told me “You aren’t even athletic,” and made fun of me for wanting to try to teach.  I think he apologized later, but it still hurts to think that someone that cared about you could say something like that.  Years later, miles later, and plans later, sometimes when I’m feeling lazy, or when I’m feeling like I don’t want to work  I think about this, and it pushes me through a rough time  I AM athletic.  I AM fit.  I AM strong.  What someone says shouldn’t determine how you live your life.  And I’m so happy I went through with the licensing process, because it was the gateway to all the running I do now.  And I feel like it changed my life.

4.  Us.  Our first date, our second date, the whole getting-to-know you phase, and us, all the way to our engagement. 

308199_738548441023_853436731_n-1We’ve been together for almost three-and-a half years, and the entire process has been fun.  He started out as that guy I kinda was interested in, and he moved to being that guy that we would go on beer dates with each other, to this guy I went on a date with and now we’re getting married and having 5 babies.  Just kidding (kinda!).

5.  Running my first half-marathon.  My first half was the Hallowed Half in Wake Forest.  There are not any pictures unfortunately because Austin was out of town at a funeral, and the entire time I ran, I just thought about Austin, how much I loved him, how I needed to get back home to him, and how bad my inner thighs were chafed at the time.

Okay, so I think I have a few more, so I might split this up into parts, but this is what I got for my 5 most memorable (thus far).  I have some more, but we will get more into those at a later time.  Give me one of your favorite memories!

Happy Saturday Folks!

I’m sitting in the office, writing, and looking out the window at how gorgeous it is outside.

My plans for today?

Teaching a Zumba class at the Y, a photo-shoot that I think is gonna turn out really cool, a run, and then I’ll hop in my car so I can head to my parents’ house, where I’ll be staying with the dog so I can see my lady-friend, Demi Lovato tomorrow night!

So a busy Saturday on deck.

What are your plans for this beautiful weekend?  

That time I stalked a bartender…

I took a little break on Saturday, so I hope you guys didn’t miss me a ton.  Happy Superbowl Sunday!

Okay, so this weekend, thus far, I taught a gorgeous Zumba class, took the most killer nap that has ever existed with the dog, ran, and stalked a bartender.  Let me explain.

Zumba was beautiful.  Class was packed, and it was one of those classes where I sorta felt myself getting emotional because of how joyous the class seemed like they were.  I truly, truly hope the class can feel what I’m giving to them.

The Zappos Delivery.

Let me say this.  I have ruined nearly every gift that Austin has given me.  Not on purpose, but my propensity toward curiosity has ruined everything.  When he bought me my Garmin, I bugged him until he gave me the present before dinner on that birthday.  During our engagement, I asked so many questions that he started taking his iPad with him everywhere because he was afraid I was going to snoop on his purchase of my engagement ring or on his credit card statement.  Good call.

Well yesterday, this box randomly arrived at my apartment.

photo 1But Austin’s name was on the package.  My antennae went up.  I sent him a text.

“That wasn’t supposed to get delivered there!  It was supposed to go to the office.”

So I played it cool.

“Should I put it somewhere for you?”

I was hoping it was nothing and he’d tell me to open it, and that’s how I’d know it was a regular package.  But he asked me to set it aside for him, and Michael, the best friend, made me swear not to snoop.

FINE!  So he’s come to pick up the package, and now I have no clue what it was.  More on that, if it turns into anything later.

Moving right along!

How I stalked a bartender.

For weeks, I’ve been trying to hunt down the bartender that made a drink for me last summer, just before we got engaged.  It was a toasted coconut martini, and we had it at the place where we had our first date, just weeks now before we got engaged.  It was delicious, and I’d like to feature this drink at our wedding.

I called around to the place, the Rockford, a number of time before one of the bartenders told me that the bartender that I was looking for was now working at a different bar.  So I changed my running route to go right by the bar where he was working, and chatted with him about the recipe, which he gladly gave me.

Yes, I’m a creep, but I got what I wanted!

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Finally, on my run, I caught sight of this.  I think they’re calling these “knit bombs” and ladies around the city are knitting and decorating the trees, bus stops, and bike racks.  Do you guys have anything cool going on like this in your city?  Cause I’ll tell you what, this definitely put a smile on my face while I was plodding through a few rainy and cold miles.

So I’m pumped, I’m expecting a pretty decent crowd for the Superbowl.  Who are you going for this evening?  The Broncos, the Seahawks, or Bruno Mars?  What are you drinking?  And what are your plans?   

 

 

The scam in Acuvue Contact lenses…

This is about to be a hard-hitting piece on what I feel is a grave injustice!

Okay, it’s not that serious, but it really annoyed me, and you guys tell me if you’ve had this experience.

So I’m blind as a bat.  I started wearing glasses in like 4th grade, and my vision has steadily gotten worse, even more so now that I spend the second half of my day glued to my laptop.

My only option at this point is contacts – I work out way too much for glasses, and I think I look pretty stupid in glasses.

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So the way it all works, is that when you order 6 months to 1 year in contacts, they tout this rebate as like, the biggest draw EVER to ordering the contacts in bulk.  Since I wear dailies, that meant that I had to order a truckload of contacts to get a $35 rebate.

So I apply for the rebate, and I’m notified that it’s going to take 10 weeks to get the rebate.  Okay, fine, whatever.  At least this time I didn’t forget about the rebate, like they were hoping I did.  I got that thing in the mail over the weekend and my “rebate” is a prepaid Citi card with $35 on it that I have to activate, and it expires in a year.  I also have to spend all $35 in one place because they charge you per transaction.  That rebate sucks.  I’m buying my contacts through Walgreens’ website next time.

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Moving right along…SNOW!  Actually, it was fake snow.  Here in North Carolina, we never get good snow, so on my way to the gym last night, the snow was looking pretty serious, but it was for naught.  By the time I was done with the gym around 9pm, the snow seemed to have eased up, and was replaced by a bone-chilling wind and cold.  Ugh, North Carolina, can’t we get just one good snow before the spring?  Please?!

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Once I got to the gym, I ran an easy 2 miles, and then hit the studio to take instead of teach a class with the amazing Loretta Bates.  I look like a beluga whale next to her, but she is teeny, not only around, but she’s a good half-a-foot shorter than I am.  Her class was a blast!  It’s so nice to take a class instead of teach one once in a while.

So how are you guys doing today?  Enjoying a snow day?  

My year of running. #runchat #run

I cannot believe that we’re approaching the end of the year. I don’t know where the year went, but I feel so hashtag blessed that I’m still here.  It has been an absolutely beautiful year.  I’ve experienced a ton – good and bad, but I’m excited to see what 2014 in store for me and my family.

yearofrunning 225x300 How was your year of running?

I stole this fun idea to sum up my year of running from Miss Zippy, and I encourage you guys to go ahead and steal it from me now!  I’m nosy as hell, so I’d really like to know about your year – and I’ll post this to my Facebook status so some of you guys can play, and I’ll pull some of your comments into my blog.

What was your:

  • Best race experience?  Hands down, my best race experience this year was the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, which I blogged about back in April.  The race itself was awesome.  The weather was beautiful, the terrain was flat, and it was just incredibly well-organized, and I feel super lucky, because for the second year in a row, I won my lottery entrance into the race.  Eep!  Additionally, I am so enamored of Washington, D.C., and spending the weekend there with good friends made the weekend super duper enjoyable.  Now I hope this year my ENTIRE name makes it onto the wall of race participant names they plaster the street with in Georgetown.  ‘Member this?

Billboard

  • Best run? I need to choose a few.  One of my best runs was in Asheville, the weekend of Alexa’s bacherlorette party up in Asheville….

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And this view of the river we stayed along…
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And I’d have to say my second favorite best run was a run I did with my brother the day after Thanksgiving a few weeks ago.   It was just fun to work out with a member of my family who kicked my butt.  It’s also so nice to talk to that kid, who’s really impressed me with how he’s matured in the past year.  Kid gets up at 3:45 to go to swim practice, and still manages to make it to school each day.  Like – bye.  Amazing.

  • Best new piece of gear?  Geez, that’s hard.  I have a lot of good stuff.  But I think my favorite piece that I’ve acquired this year would either be my Glycerin 11s, cause that shoe update was so  sweet, or this purple Moving Comfort full-zip that work gave us at the company holiday party.  I have a problem staying warm, so the fact this jacket can stand up to some of the ungodly temps we’ve had lately around here in the mornings says a lot to me.

Moving Comfort

  • Best piece of running advice you received?  Put one foot in front of the other.  A co-worker told me this as I was training for Shamrock in March, and that’s really all you can do, in racing, and in life.  When a race becomes challenging or miserable, you have to tell yourself to place one foot in front of the other.  There’s simply not another option.
  • Most inspirational runner?  I cannot pick just one, because working with runners, I am so inspired by my coworkers.  Jenny, who I ran Shamrock with, was a mother, a wife, and still found time to run that full with me.  Kerri teachers a full yoga course load, works, and trained hard and well enough to qualify for Boston.  Kerry runs a big race a month.  Fast.  Shelly is pregnant and still running.  I could go on and on and on, but you get it.  My coworkers rock, and when I don’t feel like working at my running, I think of them, and I usually can muster up enough to get moving.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Be present.  Don’t let worry or anxiety steal your happiness.

Now it’s your turn – fill me in in the comments, on your blog, on my Facebook, or Tweet me little tidbits!